Engraving Brass and Other Metals: Starting Your Artisan Craft Business

More and more artisans are discovering the many various things they can do with brass. From artistic grillwork to bespoke jewelry and fixtures, it has consistently proven why it’s a highly preferred metal handiwork material.

Customized Art

One of the more popular activities that hobbyists turn to and eventually monetize is engraving brass plates. The great thing about this particular item is that engraving can easily be accomplished through a variety of methods.

Some use an etching kit, perfect for those who would like to be more traditional and hands-on in the application of an etch design on the brass plate or sheet. Others go for speed and efficiency in the process, and so prefers using a laser, although it may take more effort.

engraving brass metals

Brass sheets are also very easy to work with because it can be drawn on with a pencil, which can then work as a trace marker for more intricate designs. This outline can be followed and, after etching, will no longer be noticeable.

Types of Laser

If you are interested in venturing into this particular enterprise, know that apart from having a reliable supplier for your brass sheet or plate needs, you’ll also need to have quality etching or engraving tools.

For laser use, there is a CO2 laser and a Nd:YAG type, among others. For purposes of basic information, CO2 laser is more apt for “marking” the brass plate, rather than actually engraving it. This is because the laser tip is coated with anodized aluminum, metal, or what is known as a  cemarking compound. Also, brass is considered to be a soft metal, thereby making it a bit more challenging to work with while using a laser.


After etching or engraving the desired design onto the brass plate, the next step is to give it that polish that will provide a nice shine. A lot of its appeal will rest on its appearance, although some may also prefer the rugged look that brass takes on, with darkening sides and texture over time.

If you are just exploring your options for getting into the engraving industry, you still should already have a supplier where you can get your stock of materials from. Fortunately, there are companies like Rotax Metals that sell materials wholesale, and with a wide variety of metal options, too, from brass sheets, brass tubing, copper plates, and more.

The sooner you establish a relationship with a supplier, the easier it will be for you to consistently have access to the materials you need.


Using a Laser to Engrave Brass & Other Metals. DigitSmith. http://www.digitsmith.com

Etching Brass Plates. Instructables. http://www.instructables.com

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